Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alexa Blog Hop! Improve your blog ranking and link up

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME! Thanks for stopping in and joining my party! lol

*IF YOU stop here today, please leave a comment so I can come visit you. In your comment tell me how you are following me, all the links are on my right side bar, I will follow back!

If you’ve been participating in our Alexa Blog Hops the past few weeks, you have probably seen a significant improvement in your Alexa rank. If you are a new blogger looking to decrease your Alexa rank & gain new GFC (Google Friend Connect) followers, please participate.

You will need to install the Alexa Toolbar on your browser. it only takes a few seconds! There are toolbars for Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. (for those that are worried, don’t be this is NOT an additional toolbar, just a little “A” icon that will show up in your toolbar) FYI- if you don't use the toolbar you won't see your ratings decrease.

The Alexa Toolbar will allow you to keep track of your daily Alexa Traffic Rank- which will give you an idea of how your blogging efforts are paying off. you can also use it to check out the Alexa Rank of any website.Your Alexa Traffic Rank will most likely fluctuate daily and the lower you are the better.

Here are the rules:

*Download the Alexa toolbar.

*Add your blog name & URL to the linky list below.

*Then, follow any blogs on GFC that interest you (be sure to leave a friendly comment on their blog letting them know that you are a new follower so they can follow back!) if you are already a follower of their blog, just leave a comment asking them to visit you for the Alexa hop!

*Feel free to grab the Spearmint Baby Blog Hop banner & post on your blog to get new people involved. (the more new people the better!)

* Please note that I keep this blog hop open all week so you have plenty of time to visit all of the blogs on the list.

Be a sweetie and follow the Blogs that are the hosting this Hop: We have Spearmint Baby and her 3 cohosts me, SusieQTpies Scraps of Life, Kelly’s Lucky You, & Our Family World. THANKS! We do follow back!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! Come link up


 
Welcome to Feeding Four's Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!

*If you leave a comment to let me know how you are following me I will follow back!
How to Participate:

Follow the hostesses - Feeding Four (click to visit and get the blog hop button) and SusieQTpies Scraps of Life Blog (This is ME!). 

If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know how you are following me and I will follow back. All my ways to follow are on my right side bar- Email, GFC, Facebook, Twitter and Networked Blogs.
  • If you want, create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar if you want to!
  • Enter your information into the linkup below.
  • Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!
While you are here, check out my TASTY recipes in the tab labeled "SusieQTpies Personal Recipes" and giveaways/deals on right side bar! Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

$10,000 winner in the Next Mini Chef Contest *ends 7/28

I've always encouraged kiddos in the kitchen helping out. When given a few ingredients or free range of the kitchen they always seem to come up with some new creative dishes from preschool all the way up to high school age.

Piccolini Next Mini chef Contest: http://us.piccolini.com/next-mini-chef/ (FYI the last time I checked the server was really busy for this contest so please if it isn't working check back later) wants you to help them find the next Mini chef. So if you have someone who likes to create in the kitchen, quickly enter to win the $10,000 Scholarship and title "Next Mini chef" using Barilla Piccolini Pasta!

I love buying Piccolini Pasta. They have taken the classic pasta shapes and shrunk them down to miniature sizes! How fun is that? The pasta cooks quickly, keeps its al dente texture and is a fun way to encourage healthy eating habits in a world of fast-food restaurants. 
Need some ideas on how to get your mini chef helping out in the kitchen? I love the ideas and recipes, here. Do you let your kids help in the kitchen? I'd love to hear how and what you do. Good luck with the contest!


Sorry for the late notice but this contest ends July 28th. So get on over and enter at http://us.piccolini.com/next-mini-chef/.


This is a sponsored post.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Borders Gift Card Advice

In the wake of Borders recent announcement it's folding up shop, those holding gift cards from the bookstore chain may have cause for concern. While the second-largest bookseller says it's presently honoring gift cards, shoppers are well advised to use up their balances before it's too late. We faced a similar situation when Blockbuster and Circuit City filed for bankruptcy and are likely to do so again. To ensure consumers don't get left in the lurch, here are a five lessons we've learned from these experiences.

1. Move Fast
Store liquidations usually begin rapidly -- this Friday for Borders -- so it's often best to use up gift cards online, rather than wait until you have time to visit a retail store. Borders liquidation website says all 399 remaining stores will close by September, but they may start writing the final chapter on your local store much earlier.


2. Research the Bankruptcy Status
Borders was refused bankruptcy, meaning they had no choice but to liquidate. Other retailers, however, filed for bankruptcy and turned things around. Sometimes a company that's filed for Chapter 11 is allowed by the bankruptcy court to honor its gift cards. California, however, specifically requires merchants in bankruptcy compensate gift card holders.

3. Consider the Company's Stability
If you hear tales of other merchants threatening to close shop, research their financial stability via such sites as BBB.com and Forbes Risk List. (Stores considered at-risk by Forbes presently include Rite Aid and Zales.) Also, ScripSmart.com regularly updates its list of "Gift Cards to Avoid."

4. Use It or Sell It
If you've received a gift card for a merchant you wouldn't frequent, don't wait until a store goes out of business. You can exchange gift cards for cash right now on such sites as GiftCardGranny.com and receive up to 95 percent of the card's value in cash.

5. Use a Credit Card
If you're concerned about a retailer's financial stability but still want to buy a gift card, do so using a credit instead of a debit card. You can then ask the card issuer to withhold payment until you're sure of the merchant's status.

Guest Article provided by Andrea Woroch who is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc.. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured on NBC Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, For more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dove® Don't Fret the Sweat "Keep Your Cool" Gathering!

We got to participate in a Dove® Don't Fret the Sweat "Keep Your Cool" Gathering! It was a lot of fun! Through SheSpeaks, I was sent a box of Dove Ultimate go fresh anti-perspirant deodorant and body mist in the revive scent. These products were given out to a lot of our tween/teen friends. Even moms were give the product and love them.

Dove has a wonderful campaign going called Don't Fret The Sweat. They provided booklets with information on boosting your kid's confidence during the tween years. The booklet discussed fears by tweens and moms as well as info on everyday stressors and milestones. 

Our girls & moms discussed tips to overcoming sweat-induced moments, building self-esteem and health lesson on why we smell/sweat. We talked about the importance of everyday hygiene tips and how an established routine is the best way to go. 

The website, www.DontFretTheSweat.com is awesome! It is full of helpful information and advice. We loved learning how to chose the right deodorant with the "product matchmaker" and how to get coupons!!

Follow the fun on Facebook, too. You can find giveaway opportunities there, too. 

Our party was full of food, fun, discussions, games and free products! What more could a girl ask for?


Thanks Dove and SheSpeaks for this opportunity. Product and compensation was given in our participate of this gathering. Our own opinions are expressed here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stovetop Recipe Link up with @GooseberryPatch #recipe round up!

With temperatures hitting 90 and beyond, we thought you'd like to keep your oven OFF for dinner tonight! This week, we're rounding up anything you can cook in a skillet or otherwise on the stovetop...keep it simple to make and keep your kitchen just a little COOLER! 
What's YOUR favorite STOVETOP recipe?
Share it in today's Recipe Round-Up!
Here's one to inspire you from Country Quick & Easy,
this week's Cookbook of the Week!
Stroganoff Skillet
Shared with us by DeNeane Deskins of Marengo, Ohio, this recipe is time-tested and so delicious!

M773 1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
10-3/4 oz. can cream
    of
mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
1 c. beef broth
1/2 c. water
3 c. wide egg noodles,
    uncooked


In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion over medium heat. Gradually blend in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Link up YOUR favorite STOVETOP recipes below and,
if you're joining this hop, link back here
by using our handy button below.
GBPRecipeRoundUp

Alexa Ranking Blog hop! Help improve your rank!

*IF YOU stop here today, please leave a comment so I can come visit you. In your comment tell me how you are following me, all the links are on my right side bar, I will follow back!

If you’ve been participating in our Alexa Blog Hops the past few weeks, you have probably seen a significant improvement in your Alexa rank. If you are a new blogger looking to decrease your Alexa rank & gain new GFC (Google Friend Connect) followers, please participate.

You will need to install the Alexa Toolbar on your browser. it only takes a few seconds! There are toolbars for Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. (for those that are worried, don’t be this is NOT an additional toolbar, just a little “A” icon that will show up in your toolbar) FYI- if you don't use the toolbar you won't see your ratings decrease.

The Alexa Toolbar will allow you to keep track of your daily Alexa Traffic Rank- which will give you an idea of how your blogging efforts are paying off. you can also use it to check out the Alexa Rank of any website.Your Alexa Traffic Rank will most likely fluctuate daily and the lower you are the better.

Here are the rules:

*Download the Alexa toolbar.

*Add your blog name & URL to the linky list below.

*Then, follow any blogs on GFC that interest you (be sure to leave a friendly comment on their blog letting them know that you are a new follower so they can follow back!) if you are already a follower of their blog, just leave a comment asking them to visit you for the Alexa hop!

*Feel free to grab the Spearmint Baby Blog Hop banner & post on your blog to get new people involved. (the more new people the better!)

* Please note that I keep this blog hop open all week so you have plenty of time to visit all of the blogs on the list.

Be a sweetie and follow the Blogs that are the hosting this Hop: We have Spearmint Baby and her 3 cohosts me, SusieQTpies Scraps of Life, Kelly’s Lucky You, & Our Family World. THANKS! We do follow back

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back to School with Master Lock


Master Lock® has hired a new specialist on student life to help students safely and securely navigate this school year in style. The Master Mind, a suave and funny college grad, is staring in a humorous online video series on in which he, along with his clever Little Sister, are setting out to answer students’ most frequent, awkward and perplexing questions on www.facebook.com/masterlock.

Parents and students are invited to submit their own questions for the Master Mind and participate in daily sweepstakes for a chance to win back-to-school must-haves, including popular Master Lock school and campus security products.

What type of advise would you give parents and students?
 
My advise for the parent is to let their student take charge of their learning and for the student, be responsible for what you are assigned. School is a student's job and they need to learn how to handle it to the best of their ability. It is hard for parents to sit back and let their kids take over but in the long run it is for the best.

This post was written because I am entering a contest for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club. My own thoughts and opinions are expressed here.
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FREE Amazon Prime for College Students


This promo is not a new one from Amazon but is real popular right now with Fall knocking on our door. It is one of their best promos for college-age students. There are certain restrictions on who qualifies. If you qualify it is a super deal. Amazon Prime membership will give the student:
Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on textbooks and millions of other items
No minimum order size
Upgrades to One-Day shipping for $3.99/item
E-mail alerts for exclusive deals and promotions 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Celebrating Christmas in July with Storkie.com

Tis' the Season to think about Christmas even though it is July. Businesses get into this Christmas in July mode and host sales.  It is smart to jump on this and take advantage of these sales.

Do you think about Christmas in July? I always do because my work gave me a Christmas in July bridal show way back in the days of the early 90s. I was a soon-to-be blushing bride and I had honestly never heard of "Christmas in July" and was thrilled to have it as a party theme.

The ladies at my work mailed out Christmas card invites for the shower. I wondered back then where they found such cards in July but now I know that they probably had them around the house from the previous Christmas. These days we can easily order any season cards online  from Storkie.com. 


My bridal shower was "snow" much fun. Everything was decorated as if it was Christmas and some of the presents that I received were actual Christmas decorations which was very helpful for a new bride! The party was like a huge family Christmas get together. The party has a lot of food, drinks, music and of course a lot of presents! Some of the presents were also decorated in Christmas wrapping paper which was really fun and festive. I really think that this is where my love of decorating for Christmas, hosting Christmas parties and making fun & tasty treats came from. 

I am hoping that one of these days I will get a chance to throw a Christmas in July bridal shower for a friend or one of my daughters. If I ever do, I'm going to order these Snowman Proposal unique Christmas cards. It would be fun to customize theses adorable cards for the happy couple. 


How about you? Do you do anything to celebrate Christmas in July? 


No matter what up and coming events that you have planned, check out Storkie.com for all your personalized cards, paper napkins and even cookies & candies.  Thanks to Storkie and Global Influence for allow me to participate in this blogger campaign. It is a sponsored post but my own words and opinions are expressed here.

Alexa Ranking Blog hop! Help improve your rank!

*IF YOU stop here today, please leave a comment so I can come visit you. In your comment tell me how you are following me, all the links are on my right side bar, I will follow back!

If you’ve been participating in our Alexa Blog Hops the past few weeks, you have probably seen a significant improvement in your Alexa rank. If you are a new blogger looking to decrease your Alexa rank & gain new GFC (Google Friend Connect) followers, please participate.

You will need to install the Alexa Toolbar on your browser. it only takes a few seconds! There are toolbars for Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. (for those that are worried, don’t be this is NOT an additional toolbar, just a little “A” icon that will show up in your toolbar) FYI- if you don't use the toolbar you won't see your ratings decrease.

The Alexa Toolbar will allow you to keep track of your daily Alexa Traffic Rank- which will give you an idea of how your blogging efforts are paying off. you can also use it to check out the Alexa Rank of any website.Your Alexa Traffic Rank will most likely fluctuate daily and the lower you are the better.

Here are the rules:

*Download the Alexa toolbar.

*Add your blog name & URL to the linky list below.

*Then, follow any blogs on GFC that interest you (be sure to leave a friendly comment on their blog letting them know that you are a new follower so they can follow back!) if you are already a follower of their blog, just leave a comment asking them to visit you for the Alexa hop!

*Feel free to grab the Spearmint Baby Blog Hop banner & post on your blog to get new people involved. (the more new people the better!)

* Please note that I keep this blog hop open all week so you have plenty of time to visit all of the blogs on the list.

Be a sweetie and follow the Blogs that are the hosting this Hop: We have Spearmint Baby and her 3 cohosts me, SusieQTpies Scraps of Life, Kelly’s Lucky You, & Our Family World. THANKS! We do follow backgg

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Too HOT to cook Recipe link Round up with Gooseberry Patch

(CLICK FOR refreshing Sangria!)



Post from Gooseberry Patch: Here in Ohio, it's HOT. And some days, the last thing you want to do 
is crank up your oven. That's when no-cook recipes really come in 
handy...just whip 'em up for a cool supper that'll keep YOU cool too!



Here's one to inspire you from Farmers' Market Favorites
this week's Cookbook of the Week!

Garden-Fresh Gazpacho
From Patsy Johnson of Salem, Missouri, this recipe is one of our favorites. Patsy writes, "I learned to make this when I was managing a restaurant. It can be very addictive in the summer months!" We're not surprised...the cool and savory combination can't be beat.

Farmersmarket 6 to 8 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 T. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
2 T. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
4 c. tomato juice
4 drops hot pepper sauce
Optional: sour cream
Combine all ingredients except sour cream, if using, in a large lidded container or gallon-size Mason jar. Refrigerate until well chilled. Dollop servings with sour cream, if desired. Serves 12 to 15.

Link up YOUR favorite NO-COOK recipes below and,
if you're joining this hop, link back here
by using our handy button below.
GBPRecipeRoundUp

Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! Come link up




Welcome to Feeding Four's Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!

*If you leave a comment to let me know how you are following me I will follow back!
How to Participate:

Follow the hostesses - Feeding Four (click to visit and get the blog hop button) and SusieQTpies Scraps of Life Blog (This is ME!). 

If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know how you are following me and I will follow back. All my ways to follow are on my right side bar- Email, GFC, Facebook, Twitter and Networked Blogs.
  • If you want, create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar if you want to!
  • Enter your information into the linkup below.
  • Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!
While you are here, check out my TASTY recipes in the tab labeled "SusieQTpies Personal Recipes" and giveaways/deals on right side bar! Have a great day!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook up and coming giveaway

101 Hearty Recipes
If you are a regular reader of mine then you will know that I LOVE Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. They keep producting cookbooks that are full of tasty recipes at a great price. What is their secret? You always hear that "the secret is in the sauce" and I believe the sauce at Gooseberry Patch is JoAnn & Vickie. As you know, a good sauce is full of tasty additions and they have pulled together the right ingredients or "team" to keep their business booming. They gather recipes from their readers and produce top-notch cookbooks. What a business and I know that they inspire me all the time. I'd LOVE to be an intern at their business.
101 Soups, Salads & Sandwiches

About 6 months or so ago I started submitting my recipes to GBP hoping to get in one of their cookbooks. Well I just got my letter and one of my recipes will be in their January 2012 Cookbook "101 Soups, Salads & Sandwiches" and I am thrilled beyond measure! Yay! You, too, can be in their cookbooks. Just go submit a few recipes and see what happens.

The Cookbook giveaway that I'll have in 2 weeks is for their new, up and coming release of 101 Hearty Recipes (do you see a trend here?) I'm loving this line of 101 recipe cookbooks because they are full of mouth-watering photos. I'm a visual learner so pictures will grab my attention every time.

I need your help! Here are the mouth-waterng categories in the new cookbook:
  • Fun & Filling
  • Speedy & Satisfying
  • Casual & Comforting
  • Baked & Buttery
Pick your top three choices for me to cook: Call them "Fun", "Speedy", "Casual" or "Baked" and I will get planning my blog post! If you do this voting you will get 5 bonus entries into the giveaway! Yay!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

TLC Show's Extreme Couponing and the trend for out-of-control couponers

SusieQTpies view: I've always used coupons even before all this extreme couponing crazy over the past few years. Over the years, store clerks for the most part do not like coupons due to the extra work they have to do. I didn't care, I just adhered to store policy and used them.

Lately, though, this extreme couponing crazy is giving mild couponers like myself a bad rap. Stores now are putting steep limits on coupon products and even taking off the items from store shelves so people with coupons don't come in and take all the product. I think stores are wrong to do this because they aren't loosing out any money and are making customers mad.

I'm not for the hoarding that is going on and think that shoppers are taking it a bit too far to go into a store and purchase or get free all 10 same products off the shelf of something that they only use 1 of in a year. I buy what I need and feel that if I take that many then I'm taking away from someone else who might need or want it.

What is your opinion on all of this? Do you use coupons? What and how do you use them? Do you have favorite stores?? Enjoy the below guest article.

A recent article on The Consumerist found the TLC show, Extreme Couponing, has sparked a trend of out-of-control couponers who ransack stores with little regard for fellow shoppers. Merchants have taken notice and many major retailers are starting to change their policies. Here are some of the big ones.

Rite Aid
Rite Aid has taken the same steps as Target to crack down on shoppers looking to exploit BOGO coupon offers. The drug store chain has also made other changes including limiting the number of coupons per item to four. If inventory is running low, managers may limit the numbers further.

Target
The biggest change at Target comes to their buy one, get one (BOGO) policy. They now only allow one BOGO coupon per purchase. Previously, customers could "stack" Target printable coupons, combining store and manufacturer BOGO coupons to get both items for free.

Walgreens
Many high tech shoppers have even started to crack coupon barcodes, allowing them to use coupons on products they're not intended for. Walgreens is working to combat this fraud by adopting a new type of barcode. New barcodes will be able to hold more data and can better make sure Walgreens coupons are used for the right product.

Publix
At Publix stores throughout the country they're also limiting the number of coupons that can be used on one product. Their new policy limits couponers to one manufacturers coupon and one store coupon per item.

Shopping with coupons is certainly a smart way to save, but there are right and wrong ways to do it.

Here are some basic do's and dont's to help you coupon with class. 

DO play by the rules. Couponing isn't too complicated and common sense should get you by in most cases. Rules vary store to store, so if you're planning to use a large amount of coupons, it helps to brush up on coupon policies before you shop. This includes making sure you're buying the item the coupon is intended for and checking to see if they'll accept expired coupons or not.

DON'T clear the shelf. In the eyes of casual shoppers, clearing entire shelves of popular sale items crosses the line between couponing and hoarding. If you really want to stock up on certain products, try making multiple trips or call ahead and ask a manager if they'll set aside an order for you.

DO be organized before you check out. It's a nightmare for cashiers and people waiting in line when you hand over a haphazard pile of miscellaneous coupons. It'll be much appreciated if you clip them before hand and make sure they're all facing the same direction. Also, remember to remove coupons for products you didn't end up buying. If you are using mobile coupons, have them ready on your smartphone for the cashier to scan.

DON'T shop during the busiest times. The stress level of those waiting in line during peak times is high enough. Using dozens of coupons takes time and will only irritate other shoppers. Instead, go shopping when business is slow. It takes the pressure off to complete the transaction as quickly as possible for both you and the cashier.

DO be polite to the cashier and fellow customers. Sure, you might have some knowledge other customers and even clerks don't, but it's no excuse to treat others like they're beneath you. If a cashier isn't familiar with coupon policies, stay calm and ask to speak with a supervisor. They're much more helpful if you don't lose your cool. When your cart is overflowing, give those behind you a heads up that you'll be using coupons. If someone is waiting with just a loaf of bread and gallon of milk, let them cut ahead.

DON'T steal coupons! A growing trend turning the tide against couponers is theft. Newspapers and newspaper subscribers are increasingly finding coupon inserts stolen. This is a big no-no and can get you into some serious trouble. Many people will willingly part with their unused inserts if you ask nicely.

###
Thanks to Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch for providing this guest article. Andrea has been featured as a media expert source on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, FOX & Friends, ABC News NOW, MSNBC, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Smart Money and many more. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com.

Friday, July 8, 2011

U Follow Me I Follow U Friday Blog Hop

UFollowMEFollow

Hi Blogger friends! Each week I cohost several blog hops and then when it gets to Friday I forget to host my own, U Follow Me I Follow U hop!  It is a very simple one.  I just ask that if you stop in to link up today that you Follow ME and leave a comment on how you follow me. Then I will do the favor and visit, comment and follow you.

I do pick someone to feature from the link up list and this week I'm featuring a sweet blogger, Rio who is the blogger at MommyMindSpa.  She has some wonderful post over at her blog which range from Weight Loss Wednesday to Daily Mom-ME Moments. Stop on over and give her a visit today. You will surely get a MommyMindSpa if you read some of her post.

So, thanks for the visit! Remember to link up, comment and follow (all my ways are on my right side bar GFC, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and also go visit MommyMindSpa. Someone who links up will get picked to be my next featured blogger. I hope it is Y-O-U!

REMEMBER you can link up anything you want! So if you have a post that you want visited, a giveaway featured, twitter, facebook, etc just link it up!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Link up Breakfast and Brunch Recipes with Gooseberry Patch

(click for my Crazy Breakfast)
Eggs & bacon sizzling hot, muffins warm from the oven,
buttery pancakes...we LOVE breakfast! And it doesn't have to
be sunrise for us to enjoy it, either. Breakfast for dinner is one
of our favorite ways to end the day!
 
What's YOUR favorite Breakfast or Brunch recipe?
Share it in today's Recipe Round-Up!
Here's one to inspire you from 101 Easy Everyday Recipes,
this week's Cookbook of the Week!
Apple-Stuffed French Toast
This recipe was shared with us by longtime contributor, Wendy Paffenroth of Pine Island, New York. With an amazing aroma and divine flavor, it's what breakfast is all about!

AppleFrenchToastforblog 3 apples, peeled, cored and
    cut into chunks

1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
cinnamon to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
8 slices wheat bread
Garnish: maple syrup

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes, until apples are soft. In a separate bowl, stir together eggs, milk and vanilla. Spray a griddle or large frying pan with non-stick vegetable spray and heat over medium heat. Quickly dip the bread on both sides in the egg mixture and place on the griddle. Cook until golden on both sides. Place one slice of toast on a plate; put a scoop of the apple mixture in the middle. Top with another slice of toast. Drizzle with maple syrup. Makes 4 servings.
  101 Easy Everyday Recipes

Since we're sharing photos from the Easy-Breezy Breakfast chapter of our new cookbook - have you voted yet? - this seemed like the perfect time for you to share your best too!



Link up YOUR favorite Breakfast or Brunch recipes
below and, if you're joining this hop, link back here
by using our handy button below.
GBPRecipeRoundUp
Want to add this hop to your OWN blog?
Be our guest...just click here to get the code

Alexa Blog Hop! Improve your blog ranking


*IF YOU stop here today, please leave a comment so I can come visit you. In your comment tell me how you are following me, all the links are on my right side bar, I will follow back!

If you’ve been participating in our Alexa Blog Hops the past few weeks, you have probably seen a significant improvement in your Alexa rank. If you are a new blogger looking to decrease your Alexa rank & gain new GFC (Google Friend Connect) followers, please participate.

You will need to install the Alexa Toolbar on your browser. it only takes a few seconds! There are toolbars for Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. (for those that are worried, don’t be this is NOT an additional toolbar, just a little “A” icon that will show up in your toolbar) FYI- if you don't use the toolbar you won't see your ratings decrease.

The Alexa Toolbar will allow you to keep track of your daily Alexa Traffic Rank- which will give you an idea of how your blogging efforts are paying off. you can also use it to check out the Alexa Rank of any website.Your Alexa Traffic Rank will most likely fluctuate daily and the lower you are the better.

Here are the rules:

*Download the Alexa toolbar.

*Add your blog name & URL to the linky list below.

*Then, follow any blogs on GFC that interest you (be sure to leave a friendly comment on their blog letting them know that you are a new follower so they can follow back!) if you are already a follower of their blog, just leave a comment asking them to visit you for the Alexa hop!

*Feel free to grab the Spearmint Baby Blog Hop banner & post on your blog to get new people involved. (the more new people the better!)

* Please note that I keep this blog hop open all week so you have plenty of time to visit all of the blogs on the list.

Be a sweetie and follow the Blogs that are the hosting this Hop: We have Spearmint Baby and her 3 cohosts me, SusieQTpies Scraps of Life, Kelly’s Lucky You, & Our Family World. THANKS! We do follow back. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! Come link up


Welcome to Feeding Four's Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!
 
*If you leave a comment to let me know how you are following me I will follow back!
 
How to Participate:

Follow the hostesses located in the first and second spots - Feeding Four (click to visit and get the blog hop button) and SusieQTpies Scraps of Life Blog (This is ME!). If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know how you are following me and I will follow back. All my ways to follow are on my right side bar- Email, GFC, Facebook, Twitter and Networked Blogs.
  • If you want, create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar if you want to!
  • Enter your information into the linkup below.
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While you are here, check out my TASTY recipes in the tab labeled "SusieQTpies Personal Recipes" and giveaways/deals on right side bar! Have a great day!


Cucumber Cilantro Salad Recipe and The Part-Time Vegan Cookbook

Just recently I got the chance to review the cookbook The Part-Time Vegan: 201 yummy Recipes That Put the FUN in Flexitarian by Cherise Grifoni


The Part-Time Vegan: 201 Yummy Recipes that Put the Fun in Flexitarian
In The Part-Time Vegan: 201 Yummy Recipes That Put the Fun in Flexitarian (Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, March 2011) you'll discover how to go vegan without feeling any obligation whatsoever. But a warning: the mouthwatering recipes may have you transitioning to full-time much sooner than you anticipated!

Non-committal? Curious? Or just want to sprinkle a little meatlessness throughout your daily routine? Newbie veggies will find recipes so fresh, colorful and inventive, you won't even miss your meat - while seasoned herbivores will love the new spins put on dips and appetizers, pasta, soups and desserts! 

What's not to love when you're eating:

  • Purely Vegan Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
  • Lean, Mean, Black Bean Guacamole
  • Very Vegan Potato Pesto Salad
  • Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup
  • Roasted-Garlic Mashed Taters
  • Spanish Artichoke and Zucchini Paella
  • Barley Pilaf with Edamame and Roasted Red Pepper  
Tofu doesn't have to be a four-letter word...and seitan, TVP and tempeh will be your new BFF! No matter why you want to go vegan - whether it's for health, the planet, or some other worthy reason - this cookbook makes sure you have fun in the process!
********** 
I planned several recipes from this cookbook. My daugher's asked if we were going "vegan" now that I have this cookbook. I told them no but this cookbook is full of tasty recipes and perfect for summer time lighter meals. So far so good on all of the recipes. Here is one of the first ones we tried. It is very light and refreshing.

Cucumber Cilantro Salad (click to print)

Ingredients

4 cucumbers, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced small
1 cup soy yogurt, plain
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Simply toss all ingredients together, stir, and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours. Toss once more before serving.

More recipes to come soon from this tasty cookbook! If you can't wait, check Amazon or your local bookstore.

How to Teach You Kids Healthy Competition


 How to Teach Your Kids Healthy Competition
By Todd G. Buchholz,
Author of 
Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race

Back in 1986, an American minister named Robert Fulghum wrote a best-selling self-help book called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The book was filled with entertaining essays about sharing, cleaning up, and inspiring tales of Mother Teresa. Fulghum busted some myths -- for example, that merely possessing Y chromosomes gives a man the knowledge to connect jumper cables. I thought back to my kindergarten class at the Shark River Hills Elementary School, a pretty scary name for a school. What I remember most is a kid named Chuck hitting me on the head with a wooden truck.

Around the time Fulghum enjoyed his breakthrough literary hit, schools around the country began to focus on self-esteem and emotional intelligence. Who cared whether a kid could do algebra if he felt bad about himself? Who cared if a kid understood how electricity flowed through wires if he did not have a knack for the feelings of others? What was to blame for our children's failed egos and blustery dispositions? According to many experts, it was competition. The solution: call in an exorcist and free the schools of competitive demons. No more spelling bees. No more class ranks. No more bright red slashes on test papers marking wrong answers. No more keeping score at soccer. A school in Massachusetts encouraged jumping rope -- but banned the rope. Not all schools adopted all of these techniques, of course, but the trend was real.

My children are being educated in this new world. When my middle daughter was in kindergarten and playing on a soccer team, my mother made the terrible mistake of asking her the score. She replied, "Grandma, we don't keep score. But if we did, we're winning three to two." You really can't fool the kids, but you can waste their time and frustrate them.
Now, I'm not an angry, interfering Little League parent who screams at the coaches or at my child. 

My priority for sport is fun. But there's a downside to the noncompetitive, pro -- self-esteem environment. First of all, it doesn't make kids happier when they know their efforts are unscored, as if the game didn't matter. Second, and more important, it robs them of the natural pleasures that come from excelling and improving.

Here are some tips for teaching your kids about healthy competition. The first two tips focus on the upside of losing. You can't get kids excited about competing if their teeth are chattering in fear.

TIP#1: Let your kids know that even you lost some games along the way. Tell them your favorite story of tripping into the swimming pool at the big match, or dropping your clarinet in the marching band competition. You may have felt bad at the moment, but you learned valuable lessons, right?

TIP #2: Deal with the sore loser syndrome. How? Laugh. Before a game or match, tell each kid he must show up with a joke -- to be told after the competition is over. Who gets to tell his joke after the game is over? The kid who comes in last. That way the loser gets the best laugh and the "atta-boys" from everyone else.

TIP #3: Encourage your kids to try diverse activities. Let your kids experience the thrill that others get when they gear up for a spelling bee, a science fair, or a track & field meet. No one expects the spelling bee winner to also win first prize for the pole vault.

TIP #4: Borrow this idea from golfers -- the handicap. It's okay to say, "Josh, you usually win the 100 yard dash by two strides. Let's give everyone else a two stride lead, and really test you!"

TIP #5: Teach kids to compete against themselves. Competition isn't always about beating someone else to the finish line. Challenge your kids to learn Italian and then save up for a trip to Rome or to Little Italy in Boston.

Sooner or later your kids will realize they're in a competitive world. But they don't have to see it as "dog-eat-dog." If you equip them with the right attitude, they'll see it more like puppies playfully rolling over each other on the grass, trying to get a paw up on the other. That's not such a bad way to start life, is it?
© 2011 Todd G. Buchholz, author of Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race

Author Bio
Todd G. Buchholz,
 author of Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race, is a former White House director of economic policy, award-winning teacher at Harvard, managing director of the Tiger hedge fund, and was a fellow at Cambridge University in 2009. He is also a founder of Two Oceans Management, as well as coproducer of the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Jersey Boys. A regular contributor to NPR's Marketplace, he appears monthly on PBS's Nightly Business Reportand his book New Ideas from Dead Economists is used in universities throughout the world. Buchholz has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalForbes, and Reader's Digest. He lives with his wife and daughters in Southern California.
For more information please visit http://www.toddbuchholz.com and follow the author on Twitter

Friday, July 1, 2011

30 Days of Deals & Giveaways #4 FREE copy of Cookouts Veggie Style!

Cookouts Veggie Style!: 225 Backyard Favorites - Full of Flavor, Free of Meat
Move over hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and barbecue chicken! VEGGIES are the new main attraction at cookouts this summer!
From now until Monday July 4th, enjoy the Cookouts Veggie Style! ebook by Jolinda Hackett for FREE for Amazon Kindle, Sony eReader, or from the Google and Apple iTunes eBookstores.

This eBook contains 225 vegetarian (and some vegan) recipes that are fresh, fun, colorful, and most importantly delicious. Incorporate these meat free meals with other traditional cookout dishes OR create a revolutionary veggie spread for your Fourth of July extravaganza!

Download this eBook for FREE and get started on recipes like Halloumi Skewers with Lemon Parsley Chimichurri (yum), Cajun-Rubbed Portobello Caps (delish), Fiery Chipotle Butter Corn on the Cob (mmm! mmm!), and so many more!

To view and download the full, FREE copy of Cookouts Veggie Style!, please visit:
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/iQssgn
Sony eReader: http://bit.ly/jWJYiE
Apple/ iTunes (preview): http://bit.ly/msbC9o

(I want to apologize for Day #3 Mixbook giveaway. Apparently the code expired before it was suppose to. I'm very disappointed in the way they handled their free coupon code. Sorry for any inconvenience that might have caused you. I will be including this on the post. )
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